"For the tears shed temporarily I received a bonus child, many times of laughter and being silly, shared our life and holidays, and so many great memories that makes the tears worth it over and over again"
"Our hearts are heavy, but filled with joy at the experience we have had with Jinui. He is genuinely as much a part of our family as any of our kids."
The benefits of hosting an exchange student are truly limitless. Gaining another member of your family, learning a new language, eating new meals, experiencing another way of life, etc.
"My girls have gained two new sisters and it has been such an amazing experience for our entire extended family!"
“I honestly haven’t seen any negative side effects from it, only positive things. Our kids have gotten so much closer because of it.” - Michele (host mom)
We are currently hosting a foreign exchange student We’re so thankful to have her in our lives + she will forever be a part of our family.
"Alba will forever be a part of our family! We were so anxious and nervous for Alba to arrive from Spain, but we all immediately clicked from the second she stepped off the plane." - Jacki (ETC host mom)
Being their “American Mom” has brought me as much joy as my own beautiful children. "I cry when they leave and I cry when they come back to visit or we get to visit them. No, not everything ran smoothly and we had ups and down and issues that had to be worked out, but we are better off because of each of them". - Paula (host mom)
The hardest part about hosting an exchange student is saying Goodbye. Our host families share with us their goodbyes with their students. Goodbyes are worth it when you create such meaningful relationships and memories.
If you have a little room in your home and a lot of room in your heart, then you are meant to be a host family spreading international goodwill through your loving service.
"I think going through quarantine together made me know them even more." - ETC student
"As with a lot of people on the autism spectrum, Zack doesn’t have a lot of friends, certainly no close friends. Except his brothers. Habib (from Mexico) and Gabe (from Italy) are his best friends ." - Kristie (host mom)
How is it being an ETC host family? What are the benefits of hosting an exchange student? Here are some of the questions our host family answered in our Instagram Live interview!
Read a truly inspirational story about an exchange student's year abroad and how once he opened up and adapted to the culture, he never wanted to leave.
It’s never perfect and I would never wish it to be. But it is real and life changing. To anyone that wants to wait for the perfect moment to host, it will never come. -Michele (ETC host mom and Field Manager)
"I promise you won’t regret it, at least until you are crying uncontrollably in the airport telling them goodbye for now!" - Chelsea (host mom)
My kids have now have international siblings and have been exposed to people that have different cultures and ways of life.
I have always wanted a daughter, always. "Because of ETC I now have a daughter, lifelong friendships with some of the best ladies I have ever met, and a new understanding of “blood doesn’t make a family.” ". - Kayla (host mom)
The benefits of hosting a foreign exchange student are truly limitless; Gaining another member of your family, learning a new language, eating new meals, experiencing another way of life, etc.
Bringing the world into your home, family and community by hosting an international high school exchange student is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
ETC seeks diversity in host families so students can get the true American experience.
Our exchange students are so excited to come to America to study and live with an American family. However, I am sure that you and your family had the discussion “How much will a foreign exchange student cost our family?”
Our students are settling in their new homes and starting to explore America! Read about all of the amazing things that they have been up to!
Many families think they have to be empty nesters or wait until their kids become teenagers in order to be great hosts, but that could not be further from the truth.
We believe making connections with other people is one of the best ways to learn about the world. "Tien had planned to have another year in the states, graduate from a high school here, and then continue on to college in the states as well. He said he felt much more able to do this after having spent a year here, with us. We are grateful to have been that resource for him". - Charity (host mom)
My heart is to bring families and students, from all over the world to bridge our countries together. "I have met and gotten to know wonderful Host Parents and families, and of course teens from all over the country. I love this job". - Chris (ETC local coordinator)
Saying goodbye to your exchange student will NEVER be an easy thing. You just have to remember all of the good times together so far and how many more there will be.
Each family has a set of beliefs about how things should be and to relate to each other. It is influenced by the structure of the family, number of children, personalities and experiences.
These stages are far from universal, but most students who arrive in August for a 10 month stay, experience many of these stages at different times and to different degrees during their stay. Acknowledgment of these stages may help you to better understand some of the feelings your student may experience.
Host families play an integral role in introducing the exchange student to the community and helping students make the most of their experience in the United States.
Our relationships with others are what enrich our lives. Take time to show the people who make your life better how much you appreciate them and how much they matter. And ALWAYS choose to have a positive attitude!
"Hosting our exchange student this year was an amazing blessing for our family!" - Heather (ETC host mom)
Thank you to our generous ETC host families for all that you’ve done. You’ve changed lives and made a difference in your community.
Conflict between student and host family is not uncommon. Causes of conflict include: failure to follow host family rules, weak adjustment effort and uncooperative attitude.
Tips from "Actual" ETC Students!
Culture shock is the physical and emotional discomfort experienced when living in a culture with different values, perceptions, cultural norms and beliefs that “threaten” a person’s understanding of what he or she thought to be “right.”
Some students may not be very communicative when they first arrive in the U.S. Communication in a foreign language is extremely tiring and can be frustrating.
Avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with international travel.
While there can be a substantial amount to prepare for as you get closer to welcoming your student, you can rest assured that your cultural experience with them will be a positive one.
Many students deal with their feelings of homesickness and culture shock by seeking out close communication with family and friends from their home country.
International students play a part in social development. See what ETC says about how students contribute to communities while also benefiting themselves.
Our past ETC students have claimed this celebration to be one of their favorite experiences of their entire exchange year.
Hosting an exchange student is about having a huge heart that has a lot of room for love in it. You are bringing an exchange student into your home to help make their dreams come true.
In the Fort Mill School District, there has been an increasing, amount of foreign exchange students that attend these schools for an entire school year. Nola Schramm is a junior at Fort Mill High School that is a part of this program.
Spirituality is a deeply personal matter and religion religion may or may not be an important part of a host family’s life.
Traveling with students can be an exciting and memorable experience. Whether it’s a road trip to a local destination or flying cross country for grandma’s birthday, your family will find this time valuable for bonding with your student as you discover new things about each other.
Christmas is celebrated in most parts of the world with different nuances and traditions. Learning how Christmas is viewed, experienced and rejoiced in other countries will help us to better connect to our students and enrich our own traditions.
It’s true, you can’t love someone more than you miss them. - Cassie (ETC host mom)
ETC host moms help bring the world together by opening their home to exchange students Some of our students took a moment to write some touching and loving stories about their host moms.
Getting ready to come to America for your year abroad? If you are having trouble beginning to pack, follow along with this checklist as you go!
Your host family does so much for you! here are some tips to help you show your gratitude…
ETC is a wonderful non-profit organization that places students all across the US. "I think of hosting as a gift.... to the student, but also a gift that the host family gives themselves," - Mary Frances (host mom)
Having an ETC exchange student in your home will enrich your life! Cultural Differences are part of the fabric of our values, beliefs and traditions. Knowledge of these variations will help you to understand certain behaviors and avoid cultural misunderstandings.
Inviting an international student into your home is an exciting experience that thousands of host families enjoy every year. It is a time to share your culture, learn about someone else’s, and develop strong bonds along the way.
Our exchange students from 2020-2021 share their experiences! From playing sports, winning awards at school and going to Prom!
Our students are arriving all across the country for their exchange year abroad. See their airport arrivals and the looks on their host families faces!
Hosting an exchange student was something that I have wanted to do forever. With no babies, an exchange student is a perfect excuse for me to spoil someone.